The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
House of Horrors: Getting government out of housing
Concentrating social problems in derelict government housing projects comes with predictable results, none of which improve the circumstances of the poor. Manitoba now faces a $50 million cost to bring its public housing up to modern standards. Should the province sell its housing portfolio instead?
Daniel Klymchuk says “yes.”
In "House of Horrors: Getting government out of housing," Klymchuk writes:
Public housing in Canada began as an idealistic tenet of Fabian socialism that much of society could honestly embrace. After all, how could one doubt the caring, gentle hand of government as the entity to build, manage and otherwise care for needy families?
[I assume that’s a rhetorical question, Daniel.]
The Manitoba Housing Authority (MHA) was created in 1992 to manage the province’s public housing portfolio of 13,100 units. While Manitoba has only 3.5% of the Canadian population, the province constructed 7% of all public housing.
The MHA commissioned an outside study that unfortunately supports the above assessment. Serious neglect of the physical asset has left the department staring at $30-million to $50-million hole in their capital budget to bring public housing up to modern standards. Considering the challenging condition of both the department and the rental units the obvious question arises: why not sell the real estate portfolio?
Good question. For the answer, read "House of Horrors: Getting government out of housing."
Posted by Matthew Johnston
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The fact that the MHA is not working, will not deter those who don't want to be confused with the facts. They cannot imagine anything else not working as much as the status quo.
Posted by: TM | 2008-12-17 9:25:50 PM
Nice post, and timely too.
The Alberta gov't has just announced a new high rise slum for Calgary's beltline. $21.4 million for 112 units at the Mustard Seed. With the usual cost over-runs I expect we'll see the units come on at $250,000.00 each, plus the land value of probably another $100k per unit. In 10 years those $350k units will either be in the hands of ordinary people and worth lots or in the hands of the state / 'our most vulnerable' and be worth damn near zero.
Any bets on the outcome?
In the meantime the City of Calgary continues passing by-laws and planning regimes which make it impossible for the private sector to provide low cost housing while allowing relaxations only to the politically correct and well connected.
Man, that shortage of low cost housing is just inexplicable innit? Must be evil capitalist bastards wanting the poor to suffer.
Posted by: Fred Z | 2008-12-18 9:56:28 AM
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